Research Updates | Consumption
Discretionary foods (DFs) are those high in saturated fat, added sugars, salt and/or alcohol. Guideline 3 of the Australian Dietary Guidelines says to "limit" DFs and beverages, however there is no specific or practical guidance on what "limit" means, and no comprehensive list of serving sizes for DFs.
The objective of this study was to develop a food-based educational toolkit for health professionals to help translate guideline 3 into quantitative advice for individuals. The methodology of how this was done is outlined in this paper.
In summary, serves of DFs were defined as 600kJ and allowable numbers of serves were calculated as part of the "additional energy allowance" based on gender, age, height and physical activity level. The serve sizes of common DFs were determined based on nutrient profile.
The tool kit consisted of a ready reckoner, consumer brochure and health care professional guide. Future research should evaluate the effectiveness of this toolkit among dietitians and their clients/patients, and assess the impact on actual eating behaviour.